As a software engineer for almost a decade now, having to work from wherever I am is a norm. I run a few businesses which requires me to be working from home quite a bit.
It can be really difficult to get work done at home for a lot of people because for most, home isn’t associated with work at all. Without a set of rules, it will be impossible to get anything done at all. Here are some of the factors that I have found to work for me and the type of work that I do.
- HAVING A SET & DEDICATED WORK AREA:
This is very important because at home, there are a whole lot of distractions that can interrupt your workflow, concentration and just make you less productive.
- SETTING A WORK SCHEDULE & HAVING A ROUTINE:
This is essential for being productive. There should be a time or multiple times that are assigned for work each day. This way, you can set out some time for other tasks, family time, etc but still have that set work period.
- SET ASIDE SOME TIME FOR SOCIAL MEDIA:
Yes, this can be part of the previous point but I wanted to stress its importance. We all know how time consuming browsing through social media can be and this is why it should have its own time and should be completely forbidden during work hours. Make use of the “Do Not Disturb” feature on your smartphone while you work and only open a social media app it it’s time.
- GET ENOUGH SLEEP.
Unfortunately, this is something that I struggle with because I end up working into the early hours of the morning, but I cannot stress the importance of getting enough rest and sleep. Without a proper nights rest, you won’t be able to be as productive and efficient during the day. Plan your day out effectively so that you can go to bed at a good time and wake up fresh and well-rested.
- CAPTURING A LIST OF THINGS YOU WANT TO GET DONE.
*My most important point. This is the step that allows me to keep on top of things, not just for work but in my life in general. Being a software engineer and working with code, there are hundreds of tasks and factors to take into account when working on a project. This is when I decided to find a solution to being more productive and staying on top of things.
For the past 10 years, I have been using a productivity methodology which helps you completely change the way you approach your work and personal life to be more productive and efficient. It is called GTD (Getting things done) and it completely changed my life.
In a nutshell, GTD comprises of 5 steps:
- Capture – You should capture and list everything that you wish to get done or anything that catches your interest. Don’t worry about order or when it needs to be done, just have it written down and listed.
- Clarify – AT the end of every day, go through that list and decide if it should be a task to get done, something you can leave for later or if it should be disregarded.
- Organise – Add those tasks and ideas to appropriate projects and apply a date for when you plan to get them done.
- Reflect – Go through your organised tasks and projects to make sure everything is in order.
- Engage – Now that everything’s in place and organised, you can get things done and more importantly, be consistent at being productive.
This is how I stay in control of all my businesses and my daily life.
Now on its own, this methodology can seem too complicated and like it might take up too much of your time to get all this typed or written down and this is how I felt when I came across it as well. Thankfully, we live in a wonderful time. There is an excellent service that I use which is built on this methodology and it just makes dealing with life a breeze.
It is called TodoIst and it is available as an app for all platforms – smartphones, tablets, Mac, PC, etc.
There are a lot of apps like this but I have found Todoist to be the best and now, it is an essential for me in my life and I think that everyone should be on this wave because it changes your life.
This is what has been working for me over all these years and without it, I wouldn’t be in the position that I am in now. I can go on and on about productivity but these are the most important for me and I think that they can apply to all fields of work.